Know where to go for bank holiday health care

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging people in Wiltshire to know where to go in case they need to access healthcare advice and treatment over the bank holiday weekend.

To help with this, Wiltshire CCG has an easy to use ‘Around the clock healthcare’ leaflet that explains what services are available and when, and is downloadable from their website.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said,
“Bank holidays are extremely busy times for the NHS and we are asking people in Wiltshire to know where to go if they need to access our local health services.

“A&E departments are often thought of as the first port of call, but in many cases another service may be more appropriate such as NHS 111, minor injuries units or local pharmacy.

“Knowing where to go and when helps you and your family to access the right health care service at the right time and helps to keep the emergency services free for those patients who really need them.”

Healthcare services in Wiltshire
There are a number of healthcare services available around the clock in Wiltshire:

NHS 111 – available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobiles. It is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced clinicians. Healthcare advice can be given over the telephone, or you may be directed to a local service if appropriate.

Pharmacists – are experts on medicines and how they work. They can also offer advice on common complaints such as coughs, insect bites, ear ache, aches and pains and other health issues and help to decide whether it’s necessary to see a doctor. Find your nearest pharmacy: https://beta.nhs.uk/find-a-pharmacy/

Minor Injuries Units – for patients with minor injuries such as sprains and strains, cuts, infected wounds and scalds. No appointments are required and they are led by qualified nurse practitioners. For opening times of Chippenham and Trowbridge MIUs visit http://www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk/local-services/minor-injury-units

Salisbury walk-in centre – open from 6.30-10pm week days and 8am-8pm at weekends, including bank holidays. Run by a team of experienced doctors and nurses and operates on a first come first served basis, unless someone is acutely unwell and needs immediate attention. Visit www.salisburywalkincentre.co.uk for more information.

NHS Choices – the UK’s biggest health website offering thousands of articles, videos and tools, which are available 24/7.

For immediate life-threatening situations, serious injuries, loss of consciousness, chest pain or suspected stroke you should always call 999.

Families and Children’s Transformation Programme survey

The Families and Children’s Transformation Programme (FACT) is a programme of work being undertaken by a wide range of organisations looking to make lives better for children, young people and families.

The organisations involved range from the council, police, NHS and schools to family support services, early years’ providers such as children’s centres, childminders and nurseries and also includes a wide variety of community and voluntary sector partners.

The intention of the programme is to align working priorities and practices as much as possible, to make it easier for people to access consistent information, advice and support from services at a time when they need them. The programme can only do that by working with children, young people and families to find out what is most important to them.

In order to reach as many families as possible, an online survey has been created to gather views on some of the key stages of childhood and parenting. The survey can be answered by parents/carers or by children and young people looking at the questions relevant to them.

Access the survey here to share your views.
The survey closes on 7 September 2018.

Please have your say and if you have any further feedback contact FACT@wiltshire.gov.uk.

The Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Vision

During 2018, the current Health and Wellbeing Board strategy and the vision statement are being refreshed.

Local system leaders in health and social care invited you to share your views between 11 June – 3 July 2018 on what Wiltshire people consider to be the most important factors in their health and care. This will also be used to help Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire CCG to build and develop Wiltshire’s health and wellbeing strategy.

The feedback you gave us has helped us to create a new draft vision statement and we now welcome your views on our proposed version.

The vision statement will help us work out how to prioritise the money we have to help people manage their own health and wellbeing and what support people need to live independently in their own communities for as long as possible.

We would like you to read the statement below about the proposed Health and Wellbeing strategy vision and share your response to some questions about it. This survey is now closed.

Our vision for Wiltshire
People in Wiltshire live in thriving communities that empower and enable them to live longer, fulfilling healthier lives.

The final vision will be supported by strategic priorities identified from your feedback and the joint strategic needs assessment completed by Public Health Wiltshire.

Thank you for taking part – your views are very important to us!

 

The Wiltshire Vision

Local system leaders in health and social care invite anyone living in Wiltshire to take part in the development of our vision for the way we provide health and care services in the county.  Your views will help us to build and develop our health and wellbeing strategy, which sets the direction for services supporting people to live as well as possible.

We’d like you to help us to understand what Wiltshire people consider to be the most important factors in their health and care.  The feedback you give us will also help us work out how to prioritise the money we have to help people manage their own health and wellbeing, and what support people need to live independently in their own communities for as long as possible.

Everyone – no matter what age – is welcome to contribute.  This is your county, so please share your thoughts with us.

The survey is open from until noon on Tuesday 3 July 2018 and can be accessed here: Your Wiltshire Vision 2018

Alternatively click here to access the printed version of the survey which can be completed and returned via email or post.

 

CQC states that people receiving health and social care services in Wiltshire are safe

A recent and detailed review of Wiltshire’s health and social care system has found that people receiving services in the county are safe.

The Care Quality Commission is carrying out targeted reviews of health and social care in local authority areas and Wiltshire was visited on 20/21 February and 12-16 March 2018.

The review, which was coordinated by Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), also included extensive data and evidence gathering from key partners in the local adult health and social care sectors. All partners involved provided information and evidence of what it’s like to receive care in Wiltshire.

The CQC focused on five main questions in relation to service provision and the impact on users:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well led?

The final review published today (14 June) recognises the hard work and effort already being done by all partners to improve the care and support for Wiltshire residents, and provides useful insight into the areas where we acknowledge we must do more to improve for people in Wiltshire. Positive aspects outlined by the CQC include:

  • Those who needed care and support were judged to be safe.
  • The review found that there was a positive and proactive programme for the transformation of adult social care particularly around prevention, reablement and safeguarding.
  • Integrated discharge teams in the hospitals worked effectively to define the pathway of care out of hospital and to begin that process.
  • There was effective inter-agency working between the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and hospital services in emergency departments to help people to avoid admission and return home safely.
  • People were supported to stay safely at home for as long as possible through the work of GPs and care coordinators.
  • There were systems in place to identify people who were frail or who were at risk of deterioration in their health or social situation.
  • GPs were key in supporting people to stay safe.
  • People were able to access a number of services in the community to prevent social isolation and when they came into contact with services through their GPs there was good support from them to access other services and sign-posting. They were helped to stay well at home for as long as possible.
  • Avoidable admissions to hospital from care homes in Wiltshire were low compared to similar areas and the England average, and significantly lower with regard to admissions resulting from pneumonia.
  • Frontline staff who provide care were recognised by reviewers for their commitment to achieving the best outcomes for people and being genuinely caring in their approach.
  • Staff who supported people living in Wiltshire were caring in their approach. There was a clear will to put the person at the heart of services.
  • There were systems and processes in place to ensure that people in crisis were supported through the health service.
  • People using hospital services and their loved ones were treated with dignity and respect.
  • People who were in crisis could access support from a variety of settings, and this was provided in a timely way. Wiltshire performed better than the England average in preventing admissions to hospital for common clinical conditions.
  • There were systems and processes in place to ensure that the transition between health and social care prevented any avoidable harm.
  • Acute hospitals were focused on promoting early discharges.
  • There was effective partnership working to ensure that people were discharged from hospitals safely.
  • People’s needs and choices were considered at all stages when planning their return home.
  • All services were focused on improving flow through hospitals and care, with systems being designed and redesigned according to activity and performance.
  • All services had the right skills to support the effective transition of people between health and social care.

With regard to the areas for improvement or where things need to be done differently, we have already produced a detailed action plan, and a single overarching strategy will be produced to address the following areas:

  • Continuing the programme of work to transform adult social care services
  • Adopting national best practice and reviewing the Better Care Plan and will be adding some new initiatives that have been successful across the country
  • A commitment to introduce additional Local Area Coordinators in Wiltshire by early Autumn, to support communities
  • We continue to see the number of people who are medically fit to leave hospital, and the numbers of those people who are experiencing delays in getting home, is reducing
  • Changes are being made which mean that the professionals who are the first point of contact to services are working together better to look at how people return home
  • Creating a provider led Integrated Programme Board to review and improve the post hospital discharge pathways to include Homefirst and Reablement
  • Simplifying our current complex governance structures
Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult social care, public health and public protection, said:
“We welcome the findings of the review and we are extremely pleased that the services we provide in Wiltshire were found to be safe.

“Given the challenge for the care and health sector this is something that is good to hear and their overall feedback and fresh perspective has been welcome and has already helped to guide improvement in our partnership working and the services we provide for residents.

“The CQC’s findings are very much in line with our own assessment of the local system and how it works, and, most importantly where further improvement can be made.

“Much of this work is already underway as we continue to work towards our long-held vision and priority to integrate health and social care. Our shared focus is to continue to develop services so that people in Wiltshire receive the best care available.”

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chairman at Wiltshire CCG said:
“This is a comprehensive and realistic report and we are grateful to our staff and colleagues for their input to it. We are of course pleased that our services are considered to be safe, but we also acknowledge we still have much to do to improve our joint services on behalf of Wiltshire people. The report shines a light on those things that we need to do better or differently and has prompted us to re-energise our efforts. We are fully committed to working closely with all of our health and care partners across Wiltshire, with renewed vigour, to provide safe, high quality and seamless services for our residents.”

As this was a review, and not an inspection, the system isn’t subject to any overall grading or mark, but a detailed assessment on how it works has been provided.

The full report will be published  at www.cqc.org.uk.

Joint corporate director post – health and social care – update

The 70th anniversary of the NHS is being widely publicised and will include the publication of a Government green paper in July to coincide with this anniversary. Whilst the contents of the paper are currently unknown, it is likely that the focus on collaborative working to integrate health and social care services will continue. 

It is also anticipated that the green paper will provide clarity on the future direction for NHS commissioning; particularly commissioning by CCGs of health services. On the basis of the anticipated change, Wiltshire Council and CCG have discussed and agreed that it would be sensible to reconsider the appointment of a joint accountable officer. 

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult social care said:
“Our aim to integrate health and care services remains a priority for the council. It is extremely disappointing that the council and CCG cannot proceed, as planned, with a senior joint accountable officer post. We had viewed this role as vanguard in driving integration to improve health and care services. We will, however, continue to look at an alternative joint post with Wiltshire CCG so that we can build on what we have already achieved in integrating services for the benefit of Wiltshire residents.

“With the growing pressures on these services and the rise in the number of older people, partnership working and the delivery of joint services will be vital if we are to manage the increasing demand. Whilst we have a strategy and plan for this, the joint post was viewed as key to its delivery. We are working with our health partners to deliver changes that will help to manage the pressures and this work must and will continue.”

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chairman of Wiltshire CCG said:
“Although we do not know the contents of the paper, we are confident that our proposals for closer, collaborative working with Wiltshire Council will not be compromised. We have made great strides towards a single, overarching Health and Social care strategy, and are looking forward to a third workshop this month to continue developing our combined ambitions for integrated, seamless services for Wiltshire people”.

Strategy launched to support carers

Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working with partners in health, social care and the voluntary sector to support the thousands of Wiltshire carers who look after vulnerable loved ones.

In the last census more than 47,000 people in Wiltshire said they provided unpaid care – that’s about 10% of the population. One in five of those devote more than 50 hours every week to caring. Research suggests that there are many more who do not identify themselves as carers formally, particularly young carers and those who care for people with needs relating to mental health or substance misuse. 

This week is Carers Week (11-17 June) with individuals and groups across the country organising events to raise awareness of the vital role that carers play.

Wiltshire Carers’ Action Group (WCAG) has recently launched a five-year strategy to make sure that carers get the support they need when they need it. The joint Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire CCG strategy was co-produced with WCAG members including the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Support, Healthwatch Wiltshire, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council, Spurgeons Young Carers, Wiltshire Citizen Advice and Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living, Wiltshire People 1st and Wiltshire carers.

The strategy aims to ensure that: ‘Carers are identified and accepted as expert partners in care; are well informed; and maintain a good quality of life and healthy lifestyle outside of their caring responsibility.’

There is a detailed implementation plan to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Carers have improved physical health, mental health and wellbeing
  • Carers are empowered to make choices about their caring role and to access appropriate support and services for themselves and the people they care for
  • Carers have the best financial situation possible, and are less worried about money
  • Carers’ needs, and the value of carers, are better understood in Wiltshire
  • Carers influence services

If you are a carer and would like to be involved in how the strategy is implemented you can contact the Carer Engagement Manager at Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 181 4118 or email admin@carersinwiltshire.co.uk

Carer Support Wiltshire chairs the Wiltshire Carer Involvement Group and coordinates carer involvement in the development of a range of services which support carers and those they care for. Carer Support Wiltshire also runs groups across the county facilitated by Community Connectors who will help to implement the strategy at a local level.

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adult social care, public health and public protection, said:
“One of the most important duties we have is to protect vulnerable people in the community. Without the devotion of carers in the county that task would be incredibly difficult and costly, and place enormous strain on the resources of the council and the health service.

“Our carers do so much for the community, and it is right that the community helps them in return.”

Ted Wilson, Director of Community Services and Joint Commissioning for NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“Everybody who works in health and social care understands the vital contribution that unpaid carers make. Looking after a person that you care about is something that many of us want to do, however, we need access to timely advice and support. Our new strategy builds on the great support that is available across Wiltshire, so that carers have the help they need when they want it.”

The strategy can be found at https://www.yourcareyoursupportwiltshire.org.uk/wiltshire-home-page/content/health-and-social-care-in-wiltshire/carers-information-advice-and-services/what-is-a-carer

For more information about Carers Week please visit www.carersweek.org and https://carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/2018/05/11/celebrate-carers-week-with-csw/

Have your say on a new approach to gluten-free prescribing

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reviewing its policy on prescribing gluten-free foods in line with national guidance and is encouraging Wiltshire patients, the public and clinicians to have their say on two proposed options.

The review follows a national public consultation in 2017 by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the ‘Availability of gluten-free foods on NHS Prescription’ and the resulting guidance announced in February 2018 to restrict gluten-free foods to bread and mixes only – although this does not affect a CCG’s statutory authority to determine its approach at a local level.

Gluten-free prescribing began in the 1960s when no gluten-free foods or products were readily available. Today gluten-free foods are found in most supermarkets, shops and many cafes – including in Wiltshire – and competition has driven pricing down meaning they are affordable dietary alternatives.

Wiltshire CCG has a duty to ensure that the funds it has available for prescribing are spent in a way that benefits most patients. Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 it spent £241,487 on products such as gluten-free bread, pasta and pizza bases, items which are now readily available and competitively priced. Wiltshire is also the highest prescribing CCG in England of Juvela gluten-free bread and bread mix.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Chair of Wiltshire CCG explains,
“The two options proposed are to stop prescribing all gluten-free foods in primary care, or to restrict prescribing to bread and mixes only for those patients with a diagnosis of coeliac disease and/or dermatitis herpetiformis up to the age of 18 years.

“While these proposals will reduce the amount of staple gluten-free foods available on prescription in Wiltshire, it will not affect the vital help and support available to patients diagnosed with coeliac disease and/or dermatitis herpetiformis via their GP or dietician.

“There is also no strong clinical evidence that patients who receive gluten-free food on prescription are more likely to comply with a gluten-free diet, or have better health outcomes than those who do not.”

Patients, the public and clinicians in Wiltshire are encouraged to have their say on the proposed options via a short survey available at www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk. The survey is open until 22 July 2018.

Findings from the survey will inform the future prescribing of gluten-free foods in Wiltshire.

National survey shows improvements in women’s experiences of maternity care

Most women are having a positive experience of maternity care and treatment within the NHS, according to a survey of more than 18,000 people in England.

Published on Tuesday 30 January by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the survey results reveal the responses from women who had given birth in February 2017 in services run by 130 NHS trusts across the country. They highlight improvements in areas such as choice of where to give birth, quality of information and access to help and support after giving birth.

Women were asked questions about all aspects of their maternity care from the first time they saw a clinician or midwife, during labour and birth, through to the care provided at home in the weeks following the arrival of their baby.

The results show that across the country, women were generally more positive about their experiences at every stage of their care, with most responses having improved or stayed the same since the survey was last carried out in 2015.

The responses to the 2017 survey show a number of notable trends, including:

  • The proportion of women who said they were offered the choice of giving birth in a midwife-led unit or birth centre has increased by seven per cent since 2013 (35% in 2013; 41% in 2015; rising to 42% in 2017).
  • Over a third of women (38%) reported that they saw the same midwife at every antenatal appointment: a 4% increase since 2013.
  • 88% of women surveyed said that they were ‘always’ treated with dignity and respect during labour and birth compared to 86% who said this in 2015 (85% in 2013).
  • The majority of women (77%) reported that they were never left alone during the birth of their baby at a time when it worried them. This compares to 74% in 2015.
  • Almost six in 10 women (59%) said they could ‘always’ get help from a member of staff within a reasonable time while in hospital after the birth: an improvement of 5% since 2015.
  • 66% of women felt they were ‘always’ given the information or explanations they needed after birth before returning home (compared with 58% in 2013).
  • 98% of women said their midwife or health visitor asked them how they were feeling emotionally during their postnatal care; however, a smaller proportion (57%) of women said they were ‘definitely’ given enough information about potential emotional changes they might experience after giving birth.
  • While there has been an increase in the number of women who reported being offered the choice about where to have their antenatal checks compared to previous years (29% in 2013 rising to 31% in 2017), the majority of women in 2017 (69 %) said they were not given a choice about this aspect of their care.

Professor Ted Baker, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “This year’s survey shows some very positive results about the quality of maternity care being provided in the NHS. This is a testament to efforts and dedication of staff working hard to provide care for pregnant women and new mothers across the country.

“The survey identifies a number of encouraging data trends showing improvements in women’s experiences throughout pregnancy, during birth and postnatally, and it indicates a greater focus on women’s individual needs and choices.

 “However, the scope for continued improvement remains, particularly in relation to women’s choices about their antenatal care and ensuring enough information is available to support women through any emotional changes they might experience after giving birth.  

“Our own inspection work of maternity services so far shows that the majority of trusts are providing high quality care – with over 60 per cent of hospitals rated as either Good or Outstanding for maternity. However, this also highlights that further work is needed to narrow the variation that we know exists.

 “I hope that NHS trusts will reflect on their individual results to understand what women using their maternity services really think about the care and treatment they provide. This will help them to identify where they need to make changes to drive improvements in the quality of care for the benefit of all women and their families.”

The full results for England, as well as individual results for each trust are available on the CQC’s website at www.cqc.org.uk/maternitysurvey

 This is the fifth survey of its kind that CQC has carried out in order to help NHS trusts understand what women’s experiences are of their maternity care and to make improvements. The results are used by CQC as part of its wider monitoring of NHS trusts.

Parents invited to join webinar and have their say on SEND inspection

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will be conducting an inspection of the local area’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) arrangements as part of their routine inspections from next Monday.

The local area refers to Wiltshire Council, Clinical Commissioning Group, schools, colleges, health providers, children’s centres, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council and other relevant partners.

The inspection will consider how effectively the local area:

  • Identifies and assesses the needs of children and young people with SEND,
  • Meets the needs of these children and young people so that their outcomes and chance of participating fully in society improve

The inspection will run from Monday 29 January to Friday 2 February.

Part of the fact finding process is to invite parents and children and young people with SEND to give their views at a special webinar. The session will be led by Jen Southall, Her Majesty’s Inspector, who will ask parents and carers about their views and experiences on how effectively the Wiltshire local area is fulfilling its responsibilities.

The webinar which is organised and hosted by Ofsted, will be on Friday 26 January from 10am to 11am.

You can find out more information and register at:
 https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6577293238529389570

Update from NHS National Emergency Pressure Panel

NHS England has issued guidance in line with the new Winter Pressures Protocol.  The guidance, which is issued to hospitals, extends the deferral of all non-urgent inpatient elective care to free up capacity for the sickest patients to January 31. The panel reiterated that cancer operations and time-critical procedures should go ahead as planned.  Over and above this, day-case procedures and routine outpatient appointments should also be deferred where this will release clinical time for non-elective care.

Read the official letter from Pauline Philip, National Director, Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement to systems, and the press  statement from the National Emergency Pressure Panel which was issued to media.

 

Out of hours service for children in South Wiltshire

An out of hours GP service for children aged 0-10 years in Salisbury and South Wiltshire means parents can now book a same day appointment to see a GP at the Salisbury Walk In Health Centre.

This extended service will provide out of hours GP health advice and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries from Monday to Friday between 6.30pm-10pm, and will provide parents with a local alternative to A&E when their child is ill.

Dr Chet Sheth, spokesperson for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and GP at Three Chequers Medical Practice comments:
“We understand how worrying it is for parents to have a sick child, even more so when local GP surgeries are closed. Often the default for parents is to take their poorly child to A&E. This isn’t always the best place for them and quite often it’s local community health advice and treatment that is needed. “This new out of hours service is designed to reduce some of the pressure seen at A&E over the winter months and to provide parents with accessible, local, health advice and treatment for their child.”

Parents should ring 111 to access the service. If necessary, the call handler will then advise parents to contact the Salisbury Walk In Health Centre to make a same day appointment.

The Salisbury Walk in Centre can be found at Avon Approach, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 3SL. 

Patients have a responsibility to be ‘fit, willing and able’

Wiltshire patients are being encouraged to be ‘fit, willing and able’ this winter to ensure planned outpatient clinics and operations run as smoothly as possible over the traditionally pressured winter period.

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with GPs and hospital clinicians across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to help guide patients through their treatment pathways and in turn reduce the number of instances where patients do not turn up for their appointments, or decline required appointments, or dates for planned operations.

The CCG is also concerned about the increasing number of patients who are referred for cancer investigations who are declining, or choosing to postpone their appointments and assessments.

Dr Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury Hospital  explains:
“We are asking patients to help us by helping themselves and ensuring they are fit, willing and able this winter, so that we can continue to deliver a high quality service. “When patients are not at their optimum health, do not attend their appointments, or decline the dates that we offer it wastes the time of our ever-stretched doctors and nurses. It’s important that our patients who are referred understand the requirements of them.   “During 2016/17, 23,493 outpatient appointments were missed across Salisbury Foundation Trust, Royal United Hospital in Bath and Great Western Hospital in Swindon. Between April – June 2017, 5,835 patients failed to turn up to, or declined appointments and planned surgery dates, suggesting a similar trend to the previous year.”
Dr Andy Hall from The Orchard Partnership in Fovant explains:
“With people living longer and with more complex conditions such as cancer, patient referrals for specialist health care are at an all-time high. “When referred patients do not to turn up to their appointments, or decide to postpone their outpatient appointment, or surgery it can have a detrimental effect on their current and future health – and that is our primary concern. “We recently clinically reviewed the number of patients who had been referred to hospital for potential cancer investigations who had chosen to delay their appointment. We were very worried by the high numbers and want to ensure patients understand the importance of attending.”

Wiltshire CCG has worked with clinicians to develop the ‘fit, willing and able’ campaign to help patients understand the importance of attending their appointments, particularly for patients who are referred with symptoms that could indicate cancer.

The campaign focuses on ensuring patients are:

Fit – aware of their planned treatment and are in their best health to get the maximum benefit from it. This can include maintaining a healthy weight and stopping smoking.

Willing – clear about what their treatment entails and are willing to sign up to it at the outset

Able – committed to attending future appointments and understand that this may require flexibility on their part

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, Clinical Chair for Wiltshire CCG, explains:
“As we enter the winter period, which is notoriously challenging for the NHS nationwide, we want to help patients to have the best experience with their specialist care; at the same time as ensuring we are using our resources as efficiently as possible. “Our fit, willing and able campaign aims to ensure referred patients can and do attend their planned appointments. By helping patients to be fit for treatment, clarifying their willingness to have surgery early in the process and by being able to attend their appointments we can deliver a smooth service and help to minimise the impact of winter pressures.”

Increased emergency admittances to hospital over the winter have a knock-on effect to those patients who have been referred and have pre-planned appointments.

For more information, please visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk

New Chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group

After almost three years as Chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (Wiltshire CCG), Dr Peter Jenkins will step down on 30 September 2017, handing responsibility of Chairing the commissioning of Wiltshire’s health services to newly elected Dr Richard Sandford-Hill.

Dr Sandford-Hill was elected through a majority vote process by Wiltshire GPs, who make up the CCG membership of 50 practices, and will be responsible for shaping the strategic direction of the CCG together with members of its Governing Body.

Dr Jenkins said:
“I’m proud to have been part of helping to develop health services that are aligned to the needs and demands of a growing and increasingly ageing population, now and into Wiltshire’s future. Much has changed since I began my clinical career a number of years ago, but what remains unwavering, regardless of what job people do within the NHS, is the commitment to delivering the best possible health care, with patients at the centre. This theme has been core to Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group since it was authorised in 2013. Our vision has always been to provide people in Wiltshire with the right services, at the right time, locally to them”.
Commenting on his new post, Dr Sandford-Hill, who is currently Senior Partner at Market Lavington Surgery said:
“I’m delighted to take up this new opportunity. Having spent four years as a Governing Body member of the CCG, I have a sound understanding of the organisation and of the issues we face and am committed to ensuring that the CCG is in the best possible position to enable the delivery of our objectives”.

Dr Sandford-Hill will continue working at Market Lavington Surgery and his patients will not see any difference to his current schedule.

He continued:
“Providing fair access to high quality, locally delivered health services, with people encouraged to take a personal responsibility for their health, is key. Health services in Wiltshire need to adapt to current and future demand and population trends. I’m convinced that by continuing to work closely with our partners across health and social care services, as well as voluntary organisations, we will be able to provide strong, sustainable health and care services now and for future generations”.
Linda Prosser, Interim Chief Officer at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added:
“Peter has made significant contributions to the way we’ve been able to re-shape primary care services in Wiltshire and on behalf of the CCG Board I want to thank him for his outstanding commitment to health care services in our area, and the changes he has overseen. I know that Richard will bring a renewed energy to leading the CCG, and building on the important work already happening within the CCG, will drive it forward with our partners. We all look forward to welcoming him as Chairman at the beginning of October”.

£2.7 million wasted on missed appointments in Wiltshire

Over the course of 12 months more than 76,400 GP Practice appointments were missed in Wiltshire, leading to £2.7 million of pressured finances being wasted and the equivalent total population of Trowbridge and Salisbury not being able to get an appointment when they needed one.

Between July 2016 and June 2017, Wiltshire’s 50 GP Practices were recording an average of 29 missed GP, Practice Nurse and Healthcare Assistant appointments every week. Known as ‘Did Not Attends’, missed appointments have a huge impact on the health economy, prevent other patients from being seen and wastes practitioners’ valuable time.

Dr Andrew Girdher from Box Surgery said:
“The scale of missed appointments across Wiltshire is extremely high and adding unnecessary pressure to already stretched NHS resources. “It’s really important that if a patient no longer needs, or cannot attend their appointment that they cancel it. We understand that people often feel better by the time their appointment comes around, or that circumstances change meaning it is no longer convenient, but cancelling your unwanted appointment allows other patients to be seen more quickly.”

Most Wiltshire Practices have multiple ways to make cancelling an appointment easy at any time of day including online systems, dedicated telephone lines with answer machine facilities and text messaging services. Speak to your Practice Receptionist to find out what’s available at your Practice to help make cancelling appointments easy for you, your family and friends.

Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a GP from Market Lavington Surgery, explains:
“On average a GP will conduct 30 appointments per day and based on the total number of missed appointments for July 2016 – June 2017, that’s the equivalent of 2,547 days of general practitioner time that has been lost. “It’s widely known that NHS resources are under significant pressure, particularly as the needs of patients increase, which is why it’s important that people understand the impact they have if they simply do not turn up to their appointment.”

The reported number of missed appointments wasted £2.7 million of public money, which could have been spent on over 63,000 hours of nursing hours in a GP Practice, or used to pay for:

  • 324 heart bypasses,
  • 2,853 cataract operations, or
  • 711 treatments for stroke
Dr Girdher continues:
“The numbers speak for themselves and highlights the collective impact missed appointments across Wiltshire have on our local health economy. Everyone has a responsibility to look after the NHS – it is tax payers’ money after all – and we urge patients to remember to cancel their unwanted appointments and to help their friends and family to do the same.”